In America, the day after Thanksgiving is called “Black Friday” – the first day of the Christmas shopping season, and a chance for retailers to move into “the black” financially.
Folks wait in long lines at ungodly hours for the chance to get great deals on special merchandise. Although there are some instances of consumer insanity, in general it’s a pretty festive occasion. Families build traditions around the day, planning their shopping route with the precision of a military maneuver.
True confession: Been there, done that … and loved it!
On the other hand, it has also been suggested that we call it “White Friday.”
“Rather than a day of consumer frenzy, White Friday will be a day of clarity, peace, and reflection…We’ll buy nothing, and continue our Thanksgiving gratitude for the abundance already in our lives.”
–Francine Jay (aka Miss Minimalist)
It’s also called “Buy Nothing Day.” There are predictions that Americans will fork over $2,000.000,000 this year, and some have suggested that this money could provide access to clean water, education, food, and medicine for kids around the world.
I’ve been there and done that too … and loved it!
So I must admit that I fall somewhere in between the two camps. As usual, the answer is never black or white.
What I do take away from the “Black Friday” vs. “White Friday” debate are these 3 things:
1. It’s a great day to spend special time with loved ones, whether you’re shopping, baking, bowling, or picnicking.
2. Let’s redefine the concept of “Enough.” The thought that we as Americans will spend billions is very sobering. How about we spread the love around to help others, too.
3. Carve out some time for yourself. Consider your priorities. And as Leo Babauta of Zen Habits says … take a few minutes to slow down and “just breathe.”
However you decide to spend Black/White Friday … have fun.